Less than a day after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine, the head of security at Meta (formerly Facebook) announced the company would no longer accept ad money from Russian state media outlets like Russia Today and Sputnik. Twitter said it would pause all ads from both Russia and Ukraine. And the next day, 26 February, YouTube quietly shared that it had begun blocking a handful of Kremlin-run media outlets from monetizing and running ads on their channels too.
It was the start of a cascade of corporate denials of service: one after the other, prominent social media and tech companies intensified restrictions on Russian state media’s presence on their platforms. Even major internet infrastructure firms, such as the domain registrar Namecheap and the internet services provider Cogent, told their Russian customers to take their business elsewhere.